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Benu

Benu

New American Restaurant and Asian Restaurant$$$$
SoMa, San Francisco
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7.9/10
248
ratings
  • Stars
  • Stars
    Has a stamp of approval from Bon Appetit Magazine and Eater
    • Bon Appetit Magazine
    • Eater
  • Tips
    Enrout
    "The tasting menu is now $180 and worth every penny."(24 Tips)
    Gretchen S.
    "The lobster soup dumplings were my favorite!!"(8 Tips)
    Arthur L.
    "Execution is perfect, service friendly, wine pairings perfect."(9 Tips)
    Eater
    "Corey Lee’s unique, eloquent, and lavish bridging of..."(5 Tips)
Tips and Reviews icon92 Tips and reviews
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  • good for dates
  • corey lee
  • truffle custard
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  • Eater
    EaterMarch 16, 2016
    Looking to Korea and to China for inspiration, Lee’s progression of courses might start with a brilliant dish like winter melon soup with caviar and gold leaf, and spin off into another realm. Read more
  • Eater
    EaterJanuary 18, 2017
    A unique mix of East and West flavors bring Corey Lee's French technique, California produce, and Korean heritage into focus, with dishes like foie gras xiao long bao. Read more
  • Eater
    EaterAugust 15, 2014
    Bill Addison's review: "A beggar's purse of "treasures from the oak," marrying acorn flour and a filling of Iberico ham from pigs that were fed acorns and truffles that grow under oak trees. Genius!" Read more
    Upvoted May 31
  • JK
    JKAugust 6, 2021
    Try Lobster xiao long bao with black Vinegar and house-made soy sauce, Barbecued Wolfe Ranch quail with XO sauce and steamed bao black truffle cream & Sonoma Creamery milk pudding with salted caramel
  • Daniel B.
    Daniel BouludJuly 30, 2014
    The ultimate tasting menu experience. The food here is beautiful. Highlights for me were the thousand year old egg, oyster with pork belly and kimchi, xo sausage and “shark fin soup”.
  • Travel + Leisure
    Travel + LeisureNovember 30, 2012
    French Laundry alum Corey Lee creates dishes reflecting both his Asian heritage and personal obsessions. A bowl of wild-salmon roe with puffed buckwheat is one of 18 courses on the $180 tasting menu.
  • Travel + Leisure
    Travel + LeisureSeptember 27, 2013
    At the clean-lined Benu, in SoMa, every detail is carefully considered, from the porcelain tableware to the Eastern-inspired chef’s tasting menu (a 1,000-year-old quail egg; salt-and-pepper squid).
  • Arthur L.heart icon on user image
    Arthur LiaoJanuary 30, 2016
    Flavors are nuanced and may be confusing if you are not familiar with Chinese and Korean cuisine. Execution is perfect, service friendly, wine pairings perfect. Truly brilliant and one of a kind.
  • Epicurious
    EpicuriousAugust 3, 2014
    Lee's exquisitely designed Asian-inflected tableware frames each dish: his famous lobster xiao long bao; a faux-shark-fin soup poured over black truffle custard; his spin on Peking duck. Read more
  • _
    _October 18, 2014
    Great service, great food, great wine pairing! Also found out Benu tracks which dishes you have tried so they create something new for you to experience every time!
  • Brian S.heart icon on user image
    Elegance personified. This is not "punch you in the face" overly stuffed experience. It's a perfectly orchestrated and almost "light" 20 -ish courses of "American" food: Asian inspired, sake & wine.
  • SFGate
    SFGateAugust 2, 2014
    Every night they create a 17-course fixed-price menu ($180); a la carte dishes are also offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Read more
  • Eater
    EaterJanuary 19, 2017
    Corey Lee’s unique, eloquent, and lavish bridging of East and West cuisines is in itself a reason to visit the Bay Area. Read more
  • Eater
    EaterJuly 30, 2012
    Lee masterfully blends myriad influences into a cuisine that transcends cultural boundaries, and sommelier Yoon Ha's insane pairing suggestions complete the entire experience. [Eater 38 Member]
  • SFGate
    SFGateAugust 2, 2014
    At Benu, a big part of the experience is not only the artistry of Lee but also the sheer genius of wine director Yoon Ha. His pairings are masterful Read more
  • Odile R.heart icon on user image
    Odile RoujolJune 26, 2016
    3 etoiles michelin. Best chef ! Inspiration corée chine france. Table incontournable à SF
  • Hamilton G.
    Hamilton GutierrezAugust 29, 2012
    Salt and pepper squid or chicharron de calamar aka fried squid rinds!!! I know it sounds odd and it is delicious! It is squid ink and pulverized squid made into fried rinds like chips.
  • Fiona S.
    Fiona SJune 13, 2013
    The tasting menu: a $180 spiritual experience. Everything was prepared with such creativity, thoughtfulness and consideration; porcelain custom made for the food.
  • eric b.heart icon on user image
    eric bornemannApril 12, 2018
    Vastly creative cuisine, love the faux-shark fin soup and lobster soup dumplings. Wine by the glass list is a little dull.
  • Wilson F.heart icon on user image
    Wilson Favre-DelerueFebruary 2, 2016
    Summits of creativity, especially in the signature 10+ starter dishes. Flavours ranging from exceptional to decent. Be prepared for a very large tab not inclusive of wine but with 20% service charge.
  • Sherry L.heart icon on user image
    Sherry LiMarch 17, 2015
    $228 for tasting menu. Wine pairing is flexible based on how much you want to drink.
  • caroline w.
    caroline wAugust 22, 2011
    The tasting menu is divine. Try getting a reservation at 6 pm rather than 8 pm (it is a 16-course menu!). Tasting takes about 4 hours and is more enjoyable when it ends at 10 rather than midnight.
  • Enrout
    EnroutSeptember 24, 2011
    The tasting menu is now $180 and worth every penny. The kimchee oyster pork belly, the salmon roe with buckwheat, and the foie grois xiao long bao are fantastic. www.enrout.com
  • Food & Wine
    Food & WineApril 5, 2012
    Chef Corey Lee combines Asian-inspired flavors to create dishes like his must-try faux shark’s-fin soup. He loves to work with unusual ingredients, like pine needles from the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Read more
  • TripExpert
    TripExpertMay 19, 2015
    Travel + Leisure, one of our professional reviewers, says, "A bowl of wild-salmon roe with puffed buckwheat conjures taste memories of cold soba." Read more
  • Visit Napa Valley
    Visit Napa ValleyNovember 3, 2011
    Follow the stars! The Michelin Stars that is and head up to The Napa Valley where you will find 17 Michelin Star Restaurants including 3 star award winning French Laundry and Meadowood Resort.
  • Susan H.
    Susan HobbsAugust 7, 2011
    Attention to detail at Benu is fantastic. Food is amazing and the presentation if fabulous. Cosmic music box birthday cake, FTW! Also, save room for the end of meal puzzle box chocolates.
  • Bloompy B.
    Bloompy BonvivantMarch 12, 2014
    Heavenly food, set in a minimalist decor and calming ambience, and an impeccable service.
  • Michelin Travel & Lifestyle
    Get the tasting menu for Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and French influences in harmony. Try monkfish liver + pumpkin tofu. – Green Guide Editor
  • Kate C.
    Kate CampecinoMarch 5, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Try the Monkfish Liver Torchon, Apple Relish,Turnip, Ramps, Sorrel, Mustard, Brioche - Item 10 of Benu's tasting menu.The foie gras of the sea served with one of Earth's loviest buttery brioche. Y
  • Jess C.
    Jess CliftonSeptember 18, 2011
    The lobster was amazing. As was the beef. Both from the main menu. Portions are small, so plan for two apps, one pasta (to share), two entrees & two desserts.
  • Yaron Z.heart icon on user image
    Yaron Zakai-OrDecember 27, 2015
    This is exceptionally great food. The complexity and balanced food is felt in every bite. Nothing falls short of great.
  • Norma R.heart icon on user image
    Norma RMay 6, 2015
    Amazing tasting menu. Highlights were the thousand year old egg, foie gras Xiao long bao, shaved milk
  • Gnat B.heart icon on user image
    Gnat BrainApril 23, 2018
    If your willing to drop a few hundos you’ll be treated to one of the best meals of your life with impeccable service.
  • The Feast
    The FeastJune 13, 2011
    Everything about this new temple to fine dining is part of a larger theatrical experience, from the custom-designed utensils, plates, and bowls to the intricately-plated food. Read more
  • SF Weekly
    SF WeeklyMay 6, 2013
    SF Weekly’s Best Of 2012 Winner – Editorial Pick - Best California Cuisine. Twenty years ago, Benu would have been described as an Asian fusion... Read more
  • Kate C.
    Kate CampecinoMarch 5, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Try the Beef braised in pear, endive, date and watercress - Item 13 of Benu's tasting menu.The beef was cooked "en sous vide" making it very tender but keeping the velvety intramuscular fat. Lusci
  • Stacyheart icon on user image
    StacyApril 25, 2015
    The service make you in heaven! I like all the staff there! Food are good but somewhat average for a three stars.
  • Gretchen S.
    Gretchen SchrammMarch 3, 2016
    Incredible tasting menu and wine pairing. The lobster soup dumplings were my favorite!!
  • Sophyan J.heart icon on user image
    Sophyan JulioFebruary 24, 2015
    Loved the faux sharkskin soup and dessert. Skip the wine pairing if sweeter wine isn't your thing.
  • Siv
    SivMay 26, 2011
    The tasting menu with the wine pairing was amazing! Definitely a great spot for a classy and fun birthday dinner. Best way to kick off a new year!
  • @JaumePrimero
    @JaumePrimeroAugust 15, 2011
    everyone in the SF bay area needs to pay a visit to this restaurant. Receiving rave reviews from friends I know in the restaurant industry. Worth every penny.
  • Julie T.
    Julie TsaiMay 13, 2014
    It's a tasting menu- you may not have a choice. But, sea bream was delicious and quail was very tasty.
  • natalie l.
    natalie l.January 16, 2013
    Definitely take a moment to peek in through the kitchen window from the sidewalk outside. Love to see how it all comes together!
  • cyn k.
    cyn kMarch 27, 2014
    They did the most amazing "pork cooked like ham" that I've ever had. It was like bacon in every bite without the fat.
  • Fran S.heart icon on user image
    Fran SuFebruary 21, 2019
    Artistic presentation, attentive service. Innovative take on traditional dishes. However, many fusion twists resulted in mediocre taste. Quite disappointing for a 3 Michelin star restaurant... :(
  • Rod B.
    Rod BannerFebruary 7, 2013
    The water glasses are totally sublime. Thin and elegant. As with the best in humanity. #thinspo
  • Eric F.
    Eric FloydFebruary 11, 2011
    Tasting menu was fantastic, wine list was exceptional with nice selections even in the moderate price range. Great wines by the glass as well!
  • Mike C.heart icon on user image
    Mike CJanuary 20, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Hands down my favorite restaurant! $$$$ but it's the ultimate dining experience!
  • Bradley L.
    Bradley LeimerFebruary 17, 2013
    Wine pairing was exceptional but pricey at $150. Meal was excellent but also recommend Coi as an alternative.
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